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The Indian giver

Posted on December 04, 2014 by

George Osborne’s autumn mini-Budget is the sort of thing that shouldn’t be read late at night. The programme of swingeing cuts to public services it outlined would chill the blood of anyone with an ounce of compassion in their souls.


Fortunately, this site concerns itself chiefly with Scottish politics, so we can leave the full horror to others, turn away in fear and focus on a couple of decisions that are particularly interesting in a constitutional context.

We noted last week that the only power recommended for devolution to Holyrood by the Smith Commission that actually had any potential for creating economic benefit to Scotland was the transfer of Air Passenger Duty, which could have been deployed to divert traffic from gridlocked London airports to places in urgent need of business like the state-owned Prestwick.

We shouldn’t have been surprised, then, to see Osborne pull the rug out from under that plan – under pressure from Labour, though the move was expected anyway – before the Smith proposals had even been drafted as a bill, let alone passed. His slashing of APD to exempt children and certain other categories cuts the Scottish Government’s ability to make Scottish airports more competitive off at the knees.

Similarly, the headline changes to stamp duty, which closely resemble those unveiled by John Swinney just a few weeks ago, will also reduce the relative attractiveness of Scotland as an alternative location. It seems plainer than ever that Westminster, whichever of the two UK parties controls it, is not prepared to let anything threaten the continued drain of national resources down towards the south-east of England.

With every day that passes, the Smith proposals are revealed as more and more toothless. As this site has warned for over a year, further devolution is an elaborate fiscal trap designed to bring Holyrood meekly to heel, eliminating any distinguishing characteristics of Scotland within the UK in a far subtler attack on nationalism than the London parties have previously attempted.

The 2015 general election will be the only chance for the Scottish electorate to stop it. The way things are shaping up at the moment, it’s a vote that could have considerably more far-reaching consequences than the independence referendum.

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118 to “The Indian giver”

  1. Gordon Cowal says:

    The last paragraph is what matters, regardless of political affiliation or none the message has to be we send 59 SNP MP’s on the one Stagecoach bus to Westminster in May 2015. So everyone who has “YES” DNA must vote SNP. The work that’s started keeps going on to mobilise the masses.
    No if’s or but’s about it. Its the only way to break the mould. After 2015 success we continue collective dialogue in Scotland but remember these new MP’s have to be out of a job as quickly as possible. If they are not they may well get too accustomed to the high life and follow the route of so many others in the Westminster bubble.

  2. Phil Robertson says:

    One thing you seemed to have overlooked. Great play was made by the Yes campaign about the future of NHS funding. However once again the Barnett consequential, as a result of INCREASED NHS spending, has resulted in extra money for the Scottish Government. That’s the same Yes campaign that criticised BT for running unfounded scare stories!

    On the stamp duty/LBSTT issue, Osborne has largely undercut the SG proposal. Tax due on a £300k sale is one-third less under the new English scheme.

  3. Doug Daniel says:

    It seemed odd that the Stamp Duty changes should come into practice the very next day after announcing them, which feels a bit rushed considering LBTT doesn’t come into play until April. That was until I saw the Scottish Tory line, which is to start comparing the gap between LBTT and Stamp Duty with the new rate, rather than the one that existed up until yesterday. Very cynical.

    Gavin Brown and his cronies are still a bunch of hypocrites, mind.

  4. Mae Carson says:

    This makes it so obvious that the Westminster (aka unionist) parties are the enemy of Scotland and her people. So much for ‘Better Together’.

  5. Iam Scott says:

    Phil, the extra £2bn a year being allocated to the NHS includes £750m being re-allocated from within the Department of Health.

    I believe it also includes £1.1bn set aside to modernise GP surgeries which will not be accounted for as regular NHS spending and therefore not affect Barnett consequentials.

    So it’s all smoke and mirrors stuff and accounting tricks, don’t be fooled

  6. galamcennalath says:

    To be expected.

    The way devolution was supposed to work was limited powers would be given to a puppet Edinburgh parliament. It wasn’t even to be given the grandiose title of ‘government’, merely ‘executive’ like some regional administration. Power, was only ever intended to be a veneer. Unionists would dominate and their overiding aim was to ensure Scotland continued to sing from the same song sheet as the rest of the UK. Scotland was never ever to appear to be doing things differently, or heaven forbid, better.

    Should Scotland begin to take a different route, Unionists recognised that could eventually threaten their Union.

    So, that plan went astray! Two successful SNP administrations. Achievements made with constraints. Books balanced. Even the more appropriate title ‘government’ is introduced.

    And, from a Unionist prespective, where did that lead? To a near death experience for the Union!

    So now it’s Unionist fight back time. They will try everything to keep Scottish policy in line with then UK’s. Even, if that means changing the UK’s!

    This will be a multi pronged attack in the run up to WM2015 and beyond. And, this approach is one front.

  7. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    Dear Phil,

    Yes… the FUTURE of Barnett Funding.

    Channel 4 say that over next 5 years Barnett will be cut by £18 billion for Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland.

    That works out at about £9.4billion in cuts to Scotlands nominal share over that period.

    At the same time we also must now contend with the possibility of taxes being devolved that cut the barnett funding received by replacing it with taxation – but as scotland gets more per head in barnett, the effect will be another reduction in funding.

    This is all before we even talk about the threat of TTIP.

    Basically, its looking like a Tory UKIP Gov in 2015 and a major shafting for Scotland.

  8. Muscleguy says:

    With London and SE house prices the Stamp Duty changes copying Scotland, designed for Scottish house prices will do pretty much diddly squat except look good. Which means it was expressly designed to undercut John Swinney and take the wind out of his sails because the introduction of the Scottish version will not be the big change envisioned.

    Mind you if this is how it’s going to be Holryood should just get as Social Democrat as possible as a gift to rUK seeing as how Westminster is going to copy them. How’s that for solidarity you labour internationalists? Scotland made the UK Chancellor do something progressive. You’re welcome.

  9. Callum says:

    Is there a Barnett consequential payment to Scotland for all of the road building projects in Scotland, chart 1.11 details £bn’s of improvements for roads in England but just mentions “Roads … are devolved in Scotland”

    The Autumn Statement document doesn’t really make it clear whether Scotland has to pay her 10% for the English (none in NI or Wales) roads or whether there is a repayment back to Scotland. If there is a repayment, then I’d expect the Scottish Government to say what they are doing with the extra windfall… Table 2.2 does not separate out Scottish allocation.

  10. Croompenstein says:

    The Indian giver and the Indian taketh away 🙂

  11. desimond says:

    Saving on a 300k property?

    You looking out for the poor down trodden middle classes again?

    You and Ruth Davidson…lying in the gutter but looking at the stars!

  12. Jim Mitchell says:

    I can’t help but wonder if Scotland is set to suffer in another way, remember way before the referendum even, that there were those MPs who were pushing for powers to be taken from holyrood and returned to Westminster, to make things smoother over the whole of the UK was I think the ‘reasoning’.

    Given the present situation, particularly when Westminster gets around to debating the Smith Commission report, or what’s left of it, some unionist MPs may see that as the time to start meddling in this way.

    The media would then trumpet what Holyrood was gaining and not what it might have lost.

    I think that we should all keep our eyes wide open!

  13. Phil Robertson says:

    Iam Scott says:
    “.. therefore not affect Barnett consequentials.
    So it’s all smoke and mirrors stuff and accounting tricks, don’t be fooled”

    Mr Swinney seems to think he’s getting another £125M.

  14. Lollysmum says:

    @ Mae Carson

    This has & will always be all colours of Tories working together to knock down the Scottish upstarts. Here we tend to blame Labour most but they are all party to the scam that is ‘Retain Power at Westminster at ALL Costs’.

    GE15 is the ultimate prize for all. WM see it as a way back into power north of the border & SNP see it as a milestone to a brighter future. WM has deliberately chosen to turn it into a battle and they will have to suffer it’s consequences if the polls are to be believed.

    Meanwhile for SNP-GE15 is part of their exit strategy from the Union. I think they are right to do that as people are learning every day that WM can’t be relied on to keep their word with anyone.

  15. handclapping says:

    Twice robbed again! 🙁

    Look at me, Stamp Duty in England is cheaper from now ‘cos I’m Westminster and can do what I want when I want but you can only do things when I allow you.

    Look at me, Stamp Duty in England is cheaper as I’ll borrow the £800 million I’ve given away the English and it will get added in to the deficit that the Jocks will have to pay.

    Somebody should remind the barking Scottish Tories that their cheaper English Stamp Duty is a subsidy being borrowed by the United Kingdom.

  16. HandandShrimp says:

    If successful in 2015 the Tories will reverse just about all the social welfare and benefits we have developed in this country over the last 70 years. It won’t just be back to the 1930s in terms of public spending but the 1930s in terms of wealth distribution and social attitudes towards the poor and unemployed.

    George has a plan, it is just a very scary one.

  17. Roberto Esquierdo says:

    This came about because the uneducated people voted for continuity of child sex abuse at Westminster in the Scottish referendum instead of starting anew .

  18. Clootie says:

    The changes to reduce or negate any devolved powers follow the standard format – create the illusion of control “devolution” while ensuring you actually retain full control.
    We are being herded like sheep. We can run left and right but we will end up in the pen with the gate closed once again.

    The Tory Shepard and his faithful Labour dog have a great deal of experience.

  19. ronnie anderson says:

    Indian Giver. Wumpum Pumpem & by god are they no gonna pump it intae us Scots.

    @ Scott Minto see FMQs for Nicola,s responce to TTIP.

  20. MekQuarrie says:

    Native Americans may find your old fashioned language a little offensive. Although being compared to George Osborne may offend them even more… :-/

  21. fred blogger says:

    mention if you will the £2.7bn in real terms cuts and the £220m PFI millstone already imposed on scotnhs.
    it will be absorbed like blotting paper, and goned without a trace.
    we do have a ge coming up soon?
    60% of austerity cuts still to come, which right wing voters will/do approve of. would be pretty put out if the scotnhs didn’t suffer similar cuts, that will come to the nhs after 2015ge.

  22. steveasaneilean says:

    Wow! An extra £125 million for the NHS in Scotland (maybe).

    Or to put it another (not so wow) way – that’s an extra £25 per person to be spread over both primary and secondary care (i.e. GP, community and hospital services).

    That’ll go along way to solving the current crisis in NHS Scotland then.

  23. Stoker says:

    The Rev writes:
    “We shouldn’t have been surprised, then, to see Osborne pull the rug out from under that plan – under pressure from Labour, though the move was expected anyway – before the Smith proposals had even been drafted as a bill, let alone passed.”

    The blue Tories continue to destroy Scotland, aided and abetted by their red Tory bedfellows.

    Meanwhile, the SNP strike back in the fight against Unionist created poverty in Scotland.

    Immediately after the referendum the Tories issued threats, unopposed from their LibLab Tory allies, to track down voters who have outstanding ‘Poll Tax debts’ and make them pay.

    These threats were seen as a blatant attempt at deterring a large number of the Scottish electorate from registering to vote in elections.

    The SNP Scottish Government has today announced that collection of poll tax debts is to end on 1st February 2015.

    They go on to state that Councils will be compensated and that the Scottish government will cover that cost.

    Well done our SNP Scottish Government.

    Time to rid Scotland of the LibLab Tory ("Tractor" - Ed)s.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “extra money for the Scottish Government”

    Yeah, like a mugger robbing you of £100 but then giving you a tenner back to get a taxi home.

  25. Graeme Doig says:

    Phil Robertson

    Requirement for you also to listen to answers on your two points given By Nicola Sturgeon at FMQ’s and then come back to us.
    Your points perfectly sum up the nonsense that is fed to the people of Scotland but I’m sure you couldn’t care less.

    Smoke, mirrors and some more smoke.

  26. boris says:

    I supported the submission to the Smith Commission of the Ekklesia public policy think-tank – Proposed Minimum Devolved Powers.

    What we asked for:

    * Power over all franchise and electoral law.

    * Comprehensive finance & economic powers, including borrowing & taxation.

    * Full control over all aspects of employment law and employment rights.

    * All aspects of the welfare system.

    * Energy powers including control over industry, renewables and power companies.of:

    * Transport policy.

    * Full powers over human rights and equalities law.

    * The right to refuse participation in illegally and morally flawed international wars and conflicts.

    * The right to refuse the stationing of weapons of mass destruction on Scottish soil.

    * The right, should the majority of voters so determine to retain membership of the European Union.

    What we got:

    * Limited borrowing powers, (level to decided upon by Westminster annually) alongside tax collection.

    * The first ten per cent of VAT.

    * Receipt of Air Passenger Duty, (subject to further discussion).

    * Control over the minimum voting age, number of MSP’s and the conduct of elections.

    * Management of disablity, care benefits, unemployment programmes, welfare subsidies, cold weather, winter fuel & funeral payments and the maternity grant.

    * power to create new benefits within financial allocations.

    * Increased (team membership) representation in UK-EU negotiations.

    More detail here:

  27. fred blogger says:

    2 1st nation canadian’s indians explained to me @ great length how imperialism stuffed them and used the term ‘indian givers,’ to drive that message home.

  28. Macart says:

    Better Together.

    What a hollow, cynical phrase that is right now.

    Still, this is what some folks voted for. We get a second bite at this in the near future, I hope the actions of both the Tory and Labour parties in the past few weeks will be burned into their memories.

    There only ever was one option to rid Scotland of this form of naked theft/politics and a continued political union was not it. For those who voted no in the hopes there would be significant change for the ‘better’?

    How’s that working out so far?

  29. Willie G says:

    So……how’s that better together thing working for you ?????

  30. De Valera says:

    Like all Yes voters, a few months ago I was hoping that we would soon be free from the likes of this.

    @ Jim Mitchell
    I also feel that Westminster will move to weaken Holyrood after GE. Our only hope is to return as many SNP MPs as we can. If there is another night of the living dead and Scotland votes Labour, we are finished.

  31. gillie says:

    “Osborne attacks BBC coverage of spending cuts”

    Oh how we all laughed!

  32. ian says:

    I see Osborne and Cameron are not impressed by the BBC’s slant on their “welfare reforms”, ("Tractor" - Ed)s being betrayed,karma’s a bitch.

  33. Luigi says:

    And to think that we are currently represented by a bunch of thick-as-shit, feeble Red Tory MPs, who really don’t have a clue what the Blue Tories are up to. And even if they did comprehend, they wouldn’t give a shit anyway. As long as they manage to fill in their expenses claim forms (some of them can’t even do that properly) they think things are just fine.

    We have to ditch the Red Tory monkeys before it’s too late.

  34. MekQuarrie says:

    fred blogger
    I see your point and totally acceptable in that context (very apt indeed). Possibly a little outdated in this article…

  35. Blind Squirrel says:

    The Daily Record wrote today: “The Scottish Government have jurisdiction over APD under new devolution powers” which is another lie. It should read: “The Scottish Government DO NOT have jurisdiction over APD BUT under new PROPOSED devolution powers THEY MIGHT HAVE.” Sorry just had to get that off my chest!

  36. Alan McHarg says:

    handclapping…very well spotted. We jocks pick up the tab for SE Englands prosperity. FFS

  37. Lesley-Anne says:

    So the Tory buying up of votes begins!

    £2 Billion to the N.H.S. which as a result will allegedly see Scotland receive around £125 Million.

    £15 Billion on road improvements in England of which through Barnett consequentials Scotland will receive … NOTHING, apparently.

    £2 Billion on Flood defences for England of which Scotland will receive via Barnett consequentials … NOTHING, apparently.

    Now we all know that the N.H.S. and roads are devolved to Scotland and the N.H.S. is to receive, possibly, consequentials but why no consequentials for roads? Oompf I forgot roads will receive nothing because the whole of the U.K. *ahem* benefits from these *cough* improvements. No doubt the same *ahem* argument will be the reason nothing is coming to Scotland with regards to the flood defences either then.

    It is interesting that wee Georgie Porgie announced a Sovereign Wealth Fund, H.. I wonder where he got THAT idea from, for the North of England. This is yet another blatant attempt by the Tories to buy votes from natural Labour voters in the North of England. Whilst this is all based around the world of Fracking I have to ask the obvious question here. Why only the North of England what ever happened to giving Scotland a Sovereign Wealth Fund for the Fracking that his pokey self centred egotistical government has licensed all over Scotland?

  38. ClanDonald says:

    Scotland’s now locked into an economic downward spiral, utterly shafted by the London financial sucking machine and still the unionist trolls like Phil above refuse to see it, indeed they support and enable it.

    Despite the fact that almost certainly he will suffer too. What will you say when the schools and hospitals close, Phil? When the torys have managed to subtly slash public spending in Scotland to identical levels south of the border despite us putting far more into the London pot? What will you say then? SNP to blame no doubt.

    Or are you from London and set to gain personally from this? Maybe you are super rich with children at private school and a BUPA healthcare plan and can’t stand paying taxes to enable others less fortunate access to health and education?

    What do you think will happen when between £4 and £7 billion are extracted from the Scottish economy over the next two years? I’ll tell you what will happen: there will be a dramatic increase in unemployment as teachers, nurses and police officers are made redundant.

    This will lead to an increase in the welfare bill and a significant drop in consumer spending as more people will have less to spend. This in turn will lead to shop closures and yet more reundancies. After all our consumer society requires its citizens to have spare cash in their pockets to spend.

    Or else the Scottish Government will have to increase taxes dramatically to enable schools and hospitals to stay open? This is what Westminster hope will happen, it is part of their trap. Higher taxes, of course, will mean less cash in people’s pockets, cutting spending power and leading to the same knock on effect on the retail sector. An economic downward spriral from which there is little chance of escape.

    Maybe you welcome this, I expect you will sit back satisfied and watch it happen, meanwhile London gets richer and richer, the biggest tax haven the world has ever seen.

    Congratualtions, Phil, this is what you, your pals in the media and the fools in the Labour party have brought upon us. Scotland will soon be as poor as Wales, Westminster will make sure it is, it is where they want us as long as our whisky, oil and water all continue to flow southwards.

    Well done, Phil, you win, hurrah for you.

  39. chalks says:

    I guarantee APD will be abolished in the next budget and replaced with something else.

    Has anyone got a link to the tax breaks beaker is speaking about in Aberdeen today?

    I see no mention of it anywhere, only osbornes pishy cutting of a supplementary tax and cluster allowances?

  40. boris says:

    Rev Stuart said;
    “As this site has warned for over a year, further devolution is an elaborate fiscal trap designed to bring Holyrood meekly to heel, eliminating any distinguishing characteristics of Scotland within the UK in a far subtler attack on nationalism than the London parties have previously attempted.”

    Well said sir,

    The Anglicization of the Celts is very firmly on the Westminster agenda for change. The process has been under way for 300years+ and has just about been completed. The 45% yes voters represent the Celtic thinking rump and it is imperative we turn the tide before all is lost.

  41. Macsenex says:

    The Stamp duty changes are a huge benefit to London and the South East. They are inflationery as they encourage those offering for property to add the so called saving in SDLT to the price offered for the house if there is competition to buy it.

    In Scotland developers of most new build properties pay any SDLT as part of the deal. There is no reason why they won’t continue to do so once LBTT comes in.

    Very few houses are priced over £325000 in Scotland so the vast bulk of home buyers get a better deal from the Scottish Government.

    On APD the Scottish Government should examine abolition on all flights except those to and from rUK airports. This would encourage more foreign direct routes and ween us away from doing business with London.

  42. fred blogger says:

    on the nail yet again.
    yes it’s pretty clear that majority voters in the se and ldn applaud austerity cuts and for them it’s christmas jackpot.

  43. ronnie anderson says:

    @ MekQuarrie Old fashioned language, with a Modern outlook,am a conundrum in ma grey heidedness.

  44. fred blogger says:

    a ps Lesley-Anne
    in fact this defines the difference between scotland’s and much of’s politic’s, we social democrats, whereas they are not.

  45. ronnie anderson says:

    @ MekQuarrie Forgot to mention an am no no no Politicaly Correct either.

  46. Lesley-Anne says:

    fred blogger says:

    on the nail yet again.
    yes it’s pretty clear that majority voters in the se and ldn applaud austerity cuts and for them it’s christmas jackpot.

    Doffs hat in recognition Fred. 😉

  47. dakk says:

    Spot on again Stuart.Those were my first thoughts when I seen the APD reduction yesterday

    London will never allow meaningful competition from within its border.Even their concession of CT to NI is only done to try draw investment away form RoI.

    They are almost communist in their command and control.

  48. think again says:

    This was only the Autumn Statement, the set piece for “give aways” i.e. open ended bribes is the Budget. This is due just before the GE leaving the opposition parties to make up lost ground.

    Expect things to get a whole lot dirtier in the new year, but like Stu says

    “The way things are shaping up at the moment, it’s a vote that could have considerably more far-reaching consequences than the independence referendum”

  49. Dr Jim says:

    @Phil Robertson
    If you need information there’s an ask wings section to help keep you up to date with pretty good correct info, and the rev’s right on top of the numbers you might need, as well as a number of folk on here who are excellent at collecting useful facts… Not in any way meant sarcastically..or to cause offence or any of the other things we must be careful not to say online…just looking out my window now, seems ok

  50. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Well done Stu, as usual.

    Is it just me, or is The SNP’s response to the Autumn Statement, in relation to Barnett and by association the Smith Commission, insipid at best?

    It was Stu yesterday who quoted the Barnett cuts (from the Autumn Statement). Absolute zilch on the SNP website.

  51. Karmanaut says:

    Powerful stuff.

    But look on the bright side!

    Thanks to Westminster generosity, we escaped being burdened with the volatile curse that it North Sea Oil and Gas revenues, which will continue to shore up London’s finance based economy that we know works so well.

    Remember Boris’s line – what’s good for the super rich is good for everyone, because we all benefit from the trickle down crumbs.

    The UK is the most unequal “country” in the developed world. Now we bailed out the banks, ensured they get to keep their vast bonuses (so talent doesn’t go elsewhere) we’re down to the sort of levels of public spending not seen since the 1930s. Now watch that inequality widen further, until the poor and vulnerable finally enjoy the status of livestock.

    Thanks, No voters.

  52. Devorgilla says:

    Supposing we get 59 indy MPs – what then? If Scotland is viewed by the Unionists as a lost cause electorally, what incentive would either Labour or the Tories forming the next UK government have to give us anything – bar something that might serve to bind us even closer to the Union?

    I agree that GE15 must be a strategic focus.

    But we must think beyond that point.

    Q. How can 59 indy MPs wring anything meaningful out of a parliament where they are outnumbered by 591 UK Unionist MPs? (Plaid Cymru excepted).

    And that’s without considering getting anything through the Lords.

    This was precisely the dilemna that faced the Irish Parliamentary Party in the 19th century.

    Without extra parliamentary pressures, such as broadly supported Constitutional Convention pushing for home rule / independence / actual meaningful devolution of powers, I can’t for the life of me see how these indy MPs can make much progress.

    They will simply be ignored.

  53. jackie g says:

    ronald alexander mcdonald,

    Responce from the SG on WM u-turn on the work programme.

    The UK government is extending its work programme contracts despite a cross-party deal that it was due to come under Holyrood control.

    The Scottish government said it was a “flagrant and wilful breach” of the Smith Commission process to devolve more power to Scotland.

    Scottish Skills Secretary Roseanna Cunningham accused the Westminster government of “breathtaking arrogance”, and has written to UK Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to complain.

    The games have only just begun..

  54. Macart says:


    In a commons where a handful of votes makes the difference on any given bill, just how much leverage/concessions do you think will be up for grabs for a block of 30+ pro indy votes? 😉

    In a tight commons with no clear electoral majority for government – double that effect.

  55. Democracy Reborn says:

    BBC News online : “Forecasters predict public spending will fall to levels not seen since the 1930s”.

    Institute for Fiscal Studies : cuts will be “on a colossal scale”.

    Pooling & sharing at its best… UKOK!

  56. ericmac says:


    Well said.

  57. Onwards says:

    Reduction of the Barnett formula makes independence more likely.

    Arguments that Scotland is subsidised are greatly weakened.

  58. Devorgilla says:

    Macart – point taken. But for that to work our MPs would have to be ever present to scupper votes. Would they? And it would still have to get through the Lords, where we have no people.

    The Irish PP had two home rule bills scuppered by Westminster despite stonking majorities in Ireland. The third one (1914) was scuppered by WW1, an unforseeable event. And then further events simply derailed the whole parliamentary process.

    I often wonder how far the third home rule bill would have got had not a Serbian anarchist assassinated an Austrian Arch-Duke.

    I think Ireland would still be part of the UK.

  59. Dr Ew says:

    @ronnie anderson

    Just checked last week’s FMQs on i-player and there was no mention of TTIP. Checked YouTube and couldn’t find the previous week’s FMQs. So perhaps you can direct me to a link for Nicola’s response to TTIP or, alternatively, some statement by the SNP or the Scottish Government on the issue.

    TTIP is a serious threat to the foundation of democratic government across Europe yet the political establishment of entire continent seems to have taken a virtual vow of silence. I’d be very interested to know the SNP’s position.

  60. Capella says:

    James Meadway commenting in the National today says that average earnings are down 10% on 2008, around £2k for a typical worker.
    The deficit is double what he planned. The National Debt costs £1b a week in interest payments and there’s a trickle of tax revenues from impoverished working people. That’s why the Treasury needs the oil and whiskey revenues. Without them the creditors would be drying up.

  61. Stoker says:

    Meanwhile, the rats in the Westminster cesspit turn on each other
    as the Conservatives accuse their slimey Lib Dem bedfellows of signing up to policies in private but slagging them off in public.

    Scotland must rid herself of the LibLabTory plague.

  62. fred blogger says:

    imv a must watch series of films made in 1975 ‘days of hope’, so, so, poignant to today.

  63. Devorgilla says:

    Capella – good points. So they won’t let us go then even with 59 indy MPs at Westminster.

    On the positive side, if the oil price remains low, so will investment in and receipts from oil. Thus, possibly more chance of a getaway, if we’re less profitable?

  64. Famous15 says:

    @Dr Ew

    See today’s FMQ’s ,her reply to Neil Findlay.

    She has corresponded with Westminster and Brussels and they say that the NHS Scotland “should not be affected”

    She is keeping a watching brief. (ie she does not trust them )

  65. Macart says:


    Its all about party discipline. If they work as a team and with a goal in mind then yes they’ll turn up as and when required.

    As for the Lords? They vote along party lines, just like the commons. Dependent on who any deal is done with, their Lords contingents will follow suit. What such a large group of pro indy MPs can almost certainly do is turn any commons vote to carnage and turmoil, making governmental progress on anything near impossible.

    They know it, we know it and THAT is why if we send down pro Scotland MPs in force, they’ll deal. The other option is unthinkable for the establishment. Their government only works so long as there is huge majority, without one WM becomes a trading floor or the rocks of broken government.

  66. Stoker says:

    Yes, the rats are certainly turning on each other now.

    “Osborne goes to war on the BBC after reporter claims
    ‘utterly terrifying’ spending cuts will take Britain
    back to 1930’s squalor”

    Scotland must cleanse herself of this Unionist plague.

  67. Luigi says:

    Devorgilla says:

    4 December, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Supposing we get 59 indy MPs – what then? If Scotland is viewed by the Unionists as a lost cause electorally, what incentive would either Labour or the Tories forming the next UK government have to give us anything – bar something that might serve to bind us even closer to the Union?

    I agree that GE15 must be a strategic focus.

    But we must think beyond that point.

    Q. How can 59 indy MPs wring anything meaningful out of a parliament where they are outnumbered by 591 UK Unionist MPs? (Plaid Cymru excepted).

    And that’s without considering getting anything through the Lords.

    This was precisely the dilemna that faced the Irish Parliamentary Party in the 19th century.

    Without extra parliamentary pressures, such as broadly supported Constitutional Convention pushing for home rule / independence / actual meaningful devolution of powers, I can’t for the life of me see how these indy MPs can make much progress.

    They will simply be ignored

    Agreed, but there is something far more important at play in the long term:

    The Red Tory Party, aka the Labour & Unionist party remains the last, big obstacle to Scottish independence. If the SNP manage to win the 2015, the Red Tories would be finished and the union dam, under pressure for so long, would finally breach.

    Red Tory influence is not what it used to be in Scotland, but, sadly, it was enough (just) to stop Scotland voting YES in September. They need to be dealt with severely in 2015.

  68. jackie g says:

    I listened to Nicola on Monday night on youtube broadcast and one of the questions was concerning TTIP.

    She said that while she was not against trading with America as such, what she was worried about was the context of any tranatlantic agreement, if it was (as it clearly may be )detrimental to Scotland ie: Public services being privatised.

    She then went on to say that if this is agreed by WM and they then try and implament it against the wishes of the People of Scotland and the SG then they will have a fight on their hands.

  69. Sue Varley says:

    OT – A question on income tax wrt Smith proposals to those more clued up readers (assuming income tax proposals go ahead).

    Anyone know what will happen with gift aid? Currently UK gov gives income tax on eligible charitable donatons to the charity, thereby topping up the donation. Who will give that amount post Smith? Will it depend on whether the tax payer is in Scotland (SG pays) or rUK (UK gov pays), and if so who will pay the cost of the extra admin? Will the SG be able to change the rules on this if it wants to?

    Or will UK gov just make the rebate irrespective of where the tax is credited to?

    Sorry if this has been covered and I missd it. Grateful for any answers.

  70. Davy says:

    Good article stu, gets right to the heart of the con-trick osbourne and Westminster are imposing on Scotland.

    For better news Nicola gave the opposition parties a good smack at FM’s question time today, it certainly was a question time where the red tory Jackie Ballie just showed how mean spirited herself and her red tory party are,
    but our First Minster quite easly held her up to ridicule.

    As for Ruth Davidson well counting and figures was certainly not “A” standard in that headgirls end of term report, what a duffus. No sign of Willie Rennie must be doing a P & J exclusive.

    All in all pretty good showing by Nicola, she even gave elmer fudd (Iain Grey) a good scud on the lug when he tried to act smart about oil revenues.

  71. Graham says:

    The IFS warns of huge public spending cuts to come in the next parliament. The Autumn Statement gives notice that the Tories intend to continue down the path started by Labour when Darling & Brown landed the Bankers’ Bill onto the taxpayer, which is to dismantle the Welfare State, reduce public spending to zilch and reduce taxes on the rich. We have to get this policy out into the open so that on 0515 we get pro-indy MP’s.

  72. Fireproofjim says:

    Yes, we are less attractive to Westminister if the oil price stays low.
    However, the oil won’t go away, and less extraction now means more for an independent Scotland, when one assumes the price will recover as it always does.
    I detest how the Unionists are gleeful when anything happens to hurt Scottish interests.

  73. Lesley-Anne says:

    Davy says:

    All in all pretty good showing by Nicola, she even gave elmer fudd (Iain Grey) a good scud on the lug when he tried to act smart about oil revenues.

    The last time dear old Elmer tried to raise anything about oil (Scottish Wealth Fund) with his “Where is the money going to come from?” question he was laughed out of the chamber. I really thought then Davy that he had learned his lesson about approaching ANYTHING to do with oil and the current Scottish government … apparently not it seems! 😛

  74. yesindyref2 says:

    OT. From the Scotsman:

    BT has announced the successful subsea installation of 250 miles of fibre optic cabling to take high-speed broadband to some of Scotland’s most remote communities.

    French specialist firm Orange Marine has been working since July to lay the cable in 20 seabed crossings in the Highlands and Islands using remotely operated equipment.

    The longest stretch of cable covers nearly 50 miles under the Minch from Ullapool to Stornoway.

    BT said the £26.9 million project represents its most complex subsea engineering challenge to date, and Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney has described the work as a “hugely impressive technological feat”.

    From The Herald: nothing

    Has anyone else noticed that though the Herald appears to be a little neutral, it fails to carry “good news” for the Scottish Government, whereas the Scotsman actually does?

  75. boris says:

    Devorgilla, A large number of independence supporting MP’s would be able to apply pressure through negotiation bringing about the creation of a coalition government comprising Labour and Lib/Dem MP’s supported by the Independence block of MP’s who would ensure the on-going governance of the said coalition. There would only be two riders, a firm commitment to remove nuclear weapons from the UK, within the lifetime of the parliament, And remaining in the EU. The policies were previously adopted by both of the parties and I would not expect there would be any difficulty since the US would be extremely happy to offer up the UK nuclear weapons meeting disarmament treaty commitments already in place.

  76. Nana Smith says:

    Part of the plan is to drain Scotland. They have spent the oil revenues in England, roads, sewers everything to the benefit of England. Pooling and sharing my —-

    UK Government unveils North Sea investment reward plans

    The UK Government has unveiled a radical plan aimed at rewarding investment in the North Sea in a bid to see as much oil and gas extracted as possible.

  77. ronnie anderson says:

    Dr Ew Todays FMQS re public services.

  78. Nana Smith says:

    Email from the scunner…

    Dear Nana,
    Yesterday, George Osborne delivered his autumn statement, and it showed once again that this Tory Government isn’t getting to grips with the cost of living crisis.

    It’s now clear that the Tories have failed on all the tests they set themselves: borrowing is higher than planned, growth is set to slow again in the coming years and wages are still falling.

    And the SNP’s economic plan is in tatters as the oil price forecast was down yet again.

    I’ve written a response in today’s Daily Record, which you can read and share here.

    Next May, we can elect a Labour Government that will balance the books fairly and get people back into work. We’ll reintroduce the 50p tax, start a jobs guarantee to get our young people back to work and raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour.

    We can make this George Osborne’s last autumn statement. Help us by donating today, if you can, and let’s get rid of the Tories next May. If you would like to get more involved in our campaign click here.

    Best wishes

    Margaret Curran
    Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

  79. Capella says:

    FMQs were comedy gold today. As well as star performances from Jackie Baillie (Health), Ruth Davidson (Stamp Duty) and Iain Grey (Oil), Neil Findlay asked Nicola what she was doing to protect Scotland from the TTIP threat. Had he and his colleagues campaigned for Independence then this issue would be solved. Sheer inability to face reality.

  80. liz says:

    @Nana Smith – I hope you sent that despicable Mags Curren an appropriate reply.

    That is one woman I cannot stand – she campaigned with the tories, now she thinks we will vote cretins like her in to PROTECT us from them?

    Sometimes I find it really hard to control my temper when she opens her gob, I feel like screaming.

    Does she have NO self awareness, self-respect or honesty in her being?

  81. gillie says:

    Institute for Fiscal Studies confirms “colossal cuts” of £55+ billion to UK public services.

    That means that the welfare budget will be slashed, and you can probably kiss goodbye to those frigates being built on the Clyde.

    I wonder how the 55% feel now?

    We could have escaped all this pain.

  82. Nana Smith says:


    I certainly did. Fairly certain they are not read as I’ve sent quite a few in the past year. I keep getting emails.

    But replying sure makes me feel better!

  83. tartanfever says:

    Couple of things to note reading the comments:

    Firstly the claim that ‘60% of austerity cuts are still to come’.

    The aim of the austerity cuts is to reduce the annual deficit to £0. In the last three years of the Tory govt. we have seen the deficit at £120bn, £99bn and £107bn. It’s clear that austerity cuts have failed – the 40% of apparent cuts that have been implemented have had little impact on the deficit. Osbourne claimed in 2010 that the deficit would be £0 this year. He amended that in 2013 to say that this year’s deficit would be £50bn with the deficit being eliminated completely in 2017.

    Now those targets have been pushed another couple of years down the line.

    As a guide, to eliminate the deficit as it stands, the govt. would have to stop all UK pensions immediately, all Job Seekers Allowance, all Housing Benefit and all Disability Allowances. That should give you some perspective in the cuts required to eliminate the deficit.

    The other thing to remember about the Barnett Formula, while it does see Scotland getting some more spending per head, you should also take into account the massive imbalance in UK infrastructure spending that sees areas like the N.E of England receive £246 per head of population while London receives £4,895. You can read more details in this Alex Massie article:

  84. Capella says:

    @ tartanfever
    That is a truly enlightening article by Alex Massie you linked to. A must read. I have seen the figures before but they take you by surprise every time!
    That will be why the North of England is being thrown a sop in the autumn statement. It’s not often that the gross imbalance of expenditure in London and the South East is made so graphically public. I wonder what the comparative figure for Scotland would be?

  85. Stoker says:

    yesindyref2 says:
    “Has anyone else noticed that though the Herald appears to be a little neutral, it fails to carry “good news” for the Scottish Government, whereas the Scotsman actually does?”

    They ALL carry ‘good news’ stories, when it suits them, especially when they desperately need to con readers into returning to them, just like the Scotsman is doing.

    They think we’re all that thick we will not remember how they helped destroy our countries future.

    I dare say some will fall for it.

  86. Les Wilson says:

    A very good article on Bella exposing yet another huge problem.

  87. TYRAN says:

    George “I have a rug on my head” Osborne.

  88. ronnie anderson says:

    @Tyran is it Persian an did he claim expences on it.

  89. thomaspotter2014 says:

    @ tyran and ronnie anderson
    Persian on his head and Peruvian up his snout!

  90. CameronB Brodie says:

    Careful with the assumptions and assertions folks, there is more deprivation in London than the whole of Scotland. Still, which ever way you slice it, imperialism sucks.

    Or for a more contemporary picture of what we are Better Together with.

    The UK has been sliding down the UN Human Development Report since 1991, and by 1996 became the most unequal nation in the developed world . The gap between rich and poor in UK society has risen sharply during the leadership of the Coalition government, yet long before these people got power, the gap between rich and poor in UK society was equal to Nigeria, with the poorest here living on roughly the same as their counterparts in Hungary and Korea.

    @ Will Podmore
    Is this what you and your Communist buddies are fighting to defend? I can only assume you are either a dolt or a deliberate deceiver. Either way, you are working for the Establishment, so I hope your not being paid out of the public purse.

  91. Onwards says:


    Q. How can 59 indy MPs wring anything meaningful out of a parliament where they are outnumbered by 591 UK Unionist MPs? (Plaid Cymru excepted).

    Scotland stands a far better chance of protecting its interests with 59 pro-Scottish MP’s than 6.

    That gives a good chance of controlling the balance of power.

    Then there is the issue of public perception.

    If Scotland returned a block of SNP MP’s, and Scottish demands for more powers were simply ignored, or outvoted by a coalition of English Tory and Labour MP’s then the case for independence becomes obvious.

    Labour are already toxic to many for cosying up to their Tory friends.
    Any sort of UK electoral pact would see them FINISHED in Scotland, and a new referendum swiftly on the cards – in favourable circumstances.

  92. Stuart Campbell: “… eliminating any distinguishing characteristics of Scotland within the UK in a far subtler attack on nationalism than the London parties have previously attempted.”

    Yes, it’s their FINAL SOLUTION for Scotland.

    Per the London Government’s December 10 2012 published legal opinion (Scotland was extinguished in 1707, “UK” & “England” are synonyms yada yada), and the scotching of the theory of “states within a state”, there will be concerted and coordinated efforts to dissolve the instruments and protocols of Scotland’s status as a country within the UK (AKA England), and to recast it in the public’s mind as just other northern region of Britain.

    That outcome follows necessarily since our English Government has given this learned opinion the imprimatur of THE official reference to be consulted when dealing with matters Scottish.

    Precedent gives cause for concern that if we remain part of England, and ever again become uppity, Westminster may retaliate with a policy of managed decline of this northern region’s economy a la Geoffrey Howe et Liverpool during the Thatcher regime (the 30-year rule, forced the publication of the minutes of cabinet meetings exposing these troubling narratives) .

    A NO vote risks an inevitable and inexorable descent of our culture into obscurity and obsolescence.

    Our separate legal system, unique education system, and our NHS, of necessity dismissed and rejected by the statists as incongruous anachronisms, predicated on the once-held delusion of our uniqueness as a people and a country.

    The unacceptable risk is that the country we love will be permanently subsumed as a neglected and reviled low-opportunity Celtic backwater of a Greater England. Again, this new legal opinion from No.10 gives this scenario menacing credibility.

    These are the outcomes that flow from the NO vote and on May 7 2015 it will well serve Scots to remember it.

  93. Kirsty says:

    Cameron B

    Is there? Child poverty is 43% in the Glasgow constituency where I live – can they top that? I’m not sure. I think the real difference is our deprivation is caused by having our money syphoned away from our country to go to a different country. There’d be no real deprivation in Scotland were we able to keep and spend our own money as we see fit. That seems a pretty big deal to me. Someone else’s suck doesn’t make that fact suck any less as far as I’m concerned.

  94. ben madigan says:

    @dakk at 2.19 who said” Even their concession of CT to NI is only done to try draw investment away form RoI”.

    just back from work so coming very late to this discussion.

    the concession of Ct to NI is conditional on
    1)tory welfare “reforms” (read cuts) being implemented which Sinn fein are opposed to;
    2) a satisfactory outcome of current all-party talks, chaired by the UK Secretary of State involving the ROI and Uk governments as well as a special US envoy to resolve major political disagreements in NI. (They seem to be going nowhere, though no doubt a christmas rabbit will be pulled out of an orange bowler hat at the last minute!! ) and
    3) loss of god knows how many million (billion?) pounds to NI from the Barnett share-out formula

    Thought: rather than being considered as setting up competion with the ROI could the CT concession be considered an attempt to align NI more with the ROI and less with the UK?
    I don’t know.
    Anyway here’s an audio from one economist who thinks the CT concession will never materialise in NI.

  95. Stoker says:

    @ kirsty.

    I actually thought it was higher than 43% but when i did a check
    on the figures in my head (47%) they were for the east-end and not
    Glasgow as a whole.

    If you haven’t already seen this spoof take (with a very serious
    message) folks, have a look, it only takes about 2 minutes.

  96. De Valera says:

    @ Devorgilla
    Had Ireland been given home rule in 1914, it may still have been in the UK as John Redmond had stated that Ireland could have been the brightest jewel in the Empire’s Crown. My own belief is that Sinn Fein would still have emerged as a strong political force although how likely any British government would have been to grant independence is unclear.
    My own view is that when Ireland and Scotland are denied moderate proposals (home rule 1914, devolution 1979).the people then go for something much stronger. We have been denied pretty watered down home rule, so my hope is that the electorate turn en masse to the SNP.
    It may be symbolic, but it would reinforce that the unionist parties have no legitimacy to govern Scotland. Another SNP majority at Holyrood 2016 would put more pressure on the UK establishment.

  97. ben madigan says:

    @ christian wright and stuart campbell who are worried that scotland will be ” a neglected and reviled low-opportunity Celtic backwater of a Greater England”.

    before the referendum, knowing irish history, i warned scots to be alert to vindictiveness and “incoming anglicization”

    Since you are aware and hopefully other scots will soon be , you will find and adopt appropriate means to counteract the strategy

  98. Kirsty says:

    Stoker, I could be wrong; I have the very great displeasure of being in Willie “The Principle” Bain’s constituency; the last I heard we were 43% child poverty. But it could be more, and from what I’ve seen, probably is. If it’s 47% in the East End, a figure that I’d believe, then that just makes me even more mad at Bain and more determined to get him out, especially since he votes continually for wars but against anything that might actually help his constituents.

  99. SqueuedPerspextive says:

    I thought George’s budget was both good and original.
    (bet you know where this is going)

    However, the parts which were good (e.g. stamp duty) were not original; and the parts which were original (i.e. the rest) were not good.

  100. Ben Madigan: “… before the referendum, knowing irish history, i warned scots to be alert to vindictiveness and “incoming anglicization”

    Post was extract from original Feb 2013 rev 1.0 article, (“Voting YES risks failure; voting NO guarantees it”) if memory serves, which was borne of the publication of (and my disgust with) HMG’s risible legal advice on matters constitutional and Scottish. You could see this coming long before the referendum.

  101. Natasha says:

    @Ben Madigan 8.33pm
    I have a lot of time for Richard Murphy. Have you read ‘The Courageous State’?

  102. Dr Jim says:

    There are those who say it’s just as bad if not worse in London,..Dont Care, Fix Scotland first then England sees it can be done gets jealous and then sorts it’s own self out,..Job Done..OIL, We’re bloody swimming in the stuff, it’s everybloodywhere Yes that’s right one word. As soon as Putin’s broke, all of a sudden the price will amazingly go up again and the Americans will go, Oh my what a freaking surprise, and the Arabs will slow production down again, what’s the fuss? Vote in as many SNP MPs as we can, Scotland wins, Same thing Holyrood elections, fill it up with SNP then there wont even be a need for another referendum coz even if we had one The English would screw us inside and outside our own country and that’s not racist coz i’m half English unfortunately so i know exactly what their behaviour would be, seen it done it got the tee shirt,you can not ever .ever trust anything they say, said it before,65 years and their still F…..G us, Stay awake Scotland… going to my bed now nighty night..

  103. CameronB Brodie says:

    How many live in Scotland compared to London? There not all toffs down south.

    5,055,000 people live in the most deprived LSOAs in England, of which 1,919,000 (38%) people are income deprived. Almost all (98%) of the most deprived LSOAs in England are in urban areas. (page 3)

    As well as this difference in the regional breakdown of the most deprived areas, the pattern at other levels of deprivation within regions is also different. This is illustrated by Figure 3 which shows the breakdown of each region’s LSOAs by Index of Multiple Deprivation decile. The North East, North West and London have a large proportion of areas amongst the most deprived in England while the South East and the East of England have the largest proportions of the least deprived LSOAs. A more detailed analysis, including maps, of the most deprived areas is presented in the report which accompanies this release. (page 7)

    But surprise, surprise, guess where Scotland’s wealth ends up?

    Figure 4 shows how the number of the most deprived LSOAs in each region has changed between 2007 and 2010. The largest reductions have been in London (80 LSOAs, -17%) while the West Midlands (36 LSOAs, 7%) and the South East (29 LSOAs, 31%) have the largest increases. (page 8)

    Sorry, I’ve not found a similar breakdown for Scotland. It might be in here, somewher, but my eyes are nippin’. Note to self – must get myself glasses. 🙁

    P.S. What happens when needs based allocation of resources replaces Barnett? Ever wondered how a syphon works? ;(

  104. castle hills chavie says:


    I live on the Carron scheme. The child poverty rates here and wider Springburn are 37%.

    Sorry, it’s a bit late in the day for me to try and find those figures and this will probably be a dead thread when I do, so pointless posting them.

    That said..Willie isn’t disliked here, just tolerated and ridiculed. Although his parents are well respected, especially Dad.

    I would just like to know if there are any folk out there in Springburn, who would like to help, Fuck we had a hard time.

  105. Kirsty says:

    Oh, is that it? A numbers game? Righto.

  106. Kirsty says:

    Castle Hills Chavie

    I’m in Dennistoun; I’m afraid I hate that man from the very pit of my soul. I’m sorry but I just can’t bear him. He votes against anything that might help us (but will happily vote for wars) whilst pretending to care; he causes so much harm when he could do so much good if he only cared. What do mean about a hard time? The referendum?

  107. CameronB Brodie says:

    Second thoughts. Perhaps I’m am wrong, given the dramatic reduction in London’s deprivation.

  108. Kirsty says:


    Comparing the poverty in London with the poverty in Scotland simply because there are more people in London and ergo more poor people is silly. Like I said, in Scotland we’ve got deep rooted poverty that’s lasted generations because our money is sent to England. That offends me. Sorry, if you think I’m supposed to give a shit that London hasn’t managed to steal enough money from the rest of us to eradicate all their poverty but – nope, I just can’t do it.

  109. CameronB Brodie says:

    You are missing my point entirely. We are on the same side, yes? I agree that London and indeed England’s poverty is their own responsibility, and was simply trying to discourage unfounded assertions. As far as I’m concerned, England has made it’s own bed. I just wish we weren’t expected yo pay for the linen.

  110. Kirsty says:

    I haven’t missed your point at all – you were whining about how bad London had it compared to Scotland – apparently worse than us on a per capita basis. I simply disagree.

    I also find the passive aggressive “We are on the same side, yes?” comment a bit pathetic. If you mean am I an independence supporter then yes I am, obviously, and I guess that means we are on the same “side” if you support independence too. Otherwise, no, we’re not on the same side – at least not if being on the same “side” means I have to agree with you.

  111. CameronB Brodie says:

    Where did I suggest deprivation is worse in London, on any sort of basis? I said there is more, which is a completely different thing. Please pay attention.

    Passive aggressive? Whining? Get a grip!

  112. IXL says:

    Cameron and Kirsty….
    The tip of the needle is sharp. Please stop dancing around it !

  113. BobD says:

    TBH, if Scotland was independent, why would the situation be any better, in fact probably worse, with the UK in direct, open competition with Scotland in terms of APD and Stamp duty. The situation would be even more extreme.

    That would/will be the economic reality of separation. No more “mr nice guy” from London

  114. Bill McLean says:

    BobD – the situation would almost be certain to be better. You keep your own income. You decide how to spend it – eg no foreign wars or showing off around the world. No £4.5 billion to London for England/Wales debt, no £3.5 billion to MOD for defence that is almost non-existent – remember the Russian warships sheltering in the Cromarty Firth! The advantages of independence are enormous as recognized by the Financial Times, Standard & Poors, the OECD and various other independent commentators. “mr nice guy” from London – goodness! how do thieves suddenly become “nice guys”?

  115. castle hills chavie says:


    Sorry, late in replying.

    I should have said, that I detest the man as well. I live on the same scheme as he does, “allegedly”

    Every time I try to engage him, he puts his head down and walks away. I think it’s because I once called him out on child poverty in Springburn, in front of other people from Carron.

    Strange, but I don’t think he likes me that much…ho hum.

  116. castle hills chavie says:

    Sorry Kirsty.

    Yeah the referendum was hard for us. We only had two activists for the whole of Springburn.

    We had help from Maryhill and Proven, which we reciprocated, but it was a tough gig and like others we had an orange lodge on our doorstep.

    And we still got a YES…:)

  117. boris says:

    If France can build aircraft carrier and other warships for Russia surely BAE should be able to bid for similar work to be attracted to the Clyde. Scotland’s links to Russia are stronger than those of France and other European nations.

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